Regional coral responses to climate disturbances and warming is predicted by multivariate stress model and not temperature threshold metrics

McClanahan, Timothy R., Maina, Joseph and Ateweberhan, Mebrahtu (2015) Regional coral responses to climate disturbances and warming is predicted by multivariate stress model and not temperature threshold metrics. Climatic Change, 131 4: 607-620. doi:10.1007/s10584-015-1399-x


Author McClanahan, Timothy R.
Maina, Joseph
Ateweberhan, Mebrahtu
Title Regional coral responses to climate disturbances and warming is predicted by multivariate stress model and not temperature threshold metrics
Journal name Climatic Change   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0165-0009
1573-1480
Publication date 2015-08
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10584-015-1399-x
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 131
Issue 4
Start page 607
End page 620
Total pages 14
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer Netherlands
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Oceanic environmental variables derived from satellites are increasingly being used to predict ecosystem states and climate impacts. Despite the concerted efforts to develop metrics and the urgency to inform policy, management plans, and actions, few metrics have been empirically tested with field data for testing their predictive ability, refinement, and eventual implementation as predictive tools. In this study, the abilities of three variations of a thermal threshold index and a multivariate stress model (MSM) were used to predict coral cover and community susceptibility to bleaching based on a compilation of field data from Indian Ocean reefs across the strong thermal anomaly of 1998. Field data included the relative abundance of coral taxa 10 years before the large-scale temperature anomaly, 2 years after (1999–2000), and during the post-bleaching recovery period (2001–2005) were tested against 1) a multivariate model based on 11 environmental variables used to predict stress or environmental exposure (MSM), 2) estimates of the time until the current mean maximum temperature becomes the mean summer condition (TtT), 3) the Cumulative Thermal Stress (CTS) for the full satellite record, and 4) the 1998 Annual Thermal Stress (1998 ATS). The MSM showed significant fit with the post-1998 cover and susceptibility of the coral community taxa (r2 = 0.50 and 0.31, respectively). Temperature threshold indices were highly variable and had relatively weak or no significant relationships with coral cover and susceptibility. The ecosystem response of coral reefs to climatic and other disturbances is more complex than predicted by models based largely on temperature anomalies and thresholds only. This implies heterogeneous environmental causes and responses to climate disturbances and warming and predictive models should consider a more comprehensive multiple parameter approach.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Faculty of Science Publications
Official 2016 Collection
 
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